Kolkata Metro starts the replacement of steel third rail with aluminium in North-South corridor

In a major leap forward towards efficiency and environmental sustainability, Kolkata Metro initiated the replacement of the steel third rail on the North-South Metro (Blue Line) with an aluminium third rail. The upgrade is expected to reduce energy loss by 84% and save 50,000 tons of carbon emissions.

More Details:

Metro Railway is gearing up its assets to further improve its services, the impact of this change will be massive o­n commercial Metro services. After a gap of 38 years, Steel-made current conducting Third Rail is going to be replaced with Aluminum Third Rail in North-South Metro (Blue Line). This change shall ensure 84% reduction in energy loss which is Rs. 1 Cr / year per km of route.

Image Credit (representational): Kolkata Metro 

O­nce completed, Kolkata Metro will belong to the league of Singapore, London, Moscow, Berlin, Munich and Istanbul Metros where such replacement work of Third Rail has already been done and Metro services are running smoothly there. The replacement work of the third rail has started at Noapara and is expected to be completed in the next 2 years. Senior management of a German company, entrusted with the job and Metro officials were present.

Setting-up International Standards:

  • Following the footsteps of Singapore, London, Moscow, Berlin, Munich, and Istanbul Metros, Metro Railway has been moving towards installing highly conductive Aluminum Third Rail with stainless steel top replacing the existing steel-made third rail from Dum Dum to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar stretch of North-South Metro (Blue Line).
  • For this, tender has been awarded to a German Company having vast experience in manufacturing as well as replacement work in more than 20 world class Metros.
  • The replacement work will be completed in two years. Such Aluminum Third Rail has already been installed in East-West Metro (Green Line), Joka-Taratala stretch of Purple Line and will be there in all upcoming Corridors of Kolkata Metro.

Image Credit (representational): Kolkata Metro 

Benefits of Aluminum Third Rail:

  • This Aluminum Third Rail has the capacity to reduce the system voltage drops and subsequent energy losses, thanks to its superior electrical conductivity.
  • This less voltage drop in the Third Rail will help to achieve faster acceleration in the running Metros.
  • As a result, for completing o­ne trip lesser time will be required and in turn Metro will acquire the capability to run services at faster intervals during the peak hours. That will be an improvement in the efficiency of Metro operations.
  • In this new system huge amounts of energy will be saved which will in turn help Kolkata Metro to reduce its operational cost.
  • As a result, the entire expenses for replacing this Third Rail could be realised within three years. Additionally Aluminium Third Rail shall reduce carbon emission by 50000 tons in its lifetime.

Additional Features of Aluminum Third Rail:

  • Apart from this, Aluminum Third Rail will require less maintenance and will be highly reliable and stable.
  • In a hot and humid city like Kolkata this replacement will be very much beneficial and inside the tunnel lesser heat will be generated during the time of contact of Third Rail Current Collector (TRCC) with this Third Rail.
  • For maintenance work, the new Third Rail will not require any welding as two such rails can be joined with the help of splice joints. It will help to maintain the air quality inside the tunnels.

With the replacement of steel third rail with aluminium Kolkata Metro has emerged as the torch bearer of sustainability for the rest of the Metro networks in India. The development is in line with its plans to provide the most efficient metro rail services along with ensuring environmental sustainability by the implementation of global best practices to upgrade their current infrastructure.

Source: Kolkata Metro – Press Release | Featured Image Credit: Kolkata Metro 

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